The identity and diversity of individual objects may be grounded or ungrounded, and intrinsic or contextual. Intrinsic individuation can be grounded in haecceities, or absolute discernibility. Contextual individuation can be grounded in relations, but this is compatible with absolute, relative or weak discernibility. Contextual individuation is compatible with the denial of haecceitism, and this is more harmonious with science. Structuralism implies contextual individuation. In mathematics contextual individuation is in general primitive. In physics contextual individuation may be grounded in relations via (...) weak discernibility. (shrink)
This is a study of all the recent literature on william james written from a phenomenological perspective with the purpose of showing that william james made fundamental contributions to the phenomenological theory of the intentionality of consciousness, To the phenomenological theory of self-Identity, And to the phenomenological conception of noetic freedom as the basic concept of ethical theory.
One of the great American pragmatic philosophers alongside Peirce and Dewey, William James delivered these eight lectures in Boston and New York in the winter of 1906–7. Though he credits Peirce with coining the term 'pragmatism', James highlights in his subtitle that this 'new name' describes a philosophical temperament as old as Socrates. The pragmatic approach, he says, takes a middle way between rationalism's airy principles and empiricism's hard facts. James' pragmatism is both a method of interpreting (...) ideas by their practical consequences and an epistemology which identifies truths according to their useful outcomes. Furnished with many examples, the lectures illustrate pragmatism's response to classic problems such as the question of free will versus determinism. Published in 1907, this work further develops James's approach to religion and morality, introduced in The Will to Believe and The Varieties of Religious Experience , both reissued in this series. (shrink)
William James’s theory of emotion has been controversial since its inception, and a basic analysis of Cannon’s critique is provided. Research on the impact of facial expressions, expressive behaviors, and visceral responses on emotional feelings are each reviewed. A good deal of evidence supports James’s theory that these types of bodily feedback, along with perceptions of situational cues, are each important parts of emotional feelings. Extensions to James’s theory are also reviewed, including evidence of individual differences in (...) the effect of bodily responses on emotional experience. (shrink)
Noted psychologist and philosopher develops his own brand of pragmatism, based on theories of C. S. Peirce. Emphasis on "radical empiricism," versus the transcendental and rationalist tradition. One of the most important books in American philosophy. Note.
James Harrington (1611-77) was a pioneer in applying the methods of Machiavelli and other civic humanists to English political society and its landed structure. In the century after his death, his ideas were adapted to become an important ingredient in the vocabulary of both English and American political opposition to the methods of Hanoverian parliamentary monarchy. There has been no complete edition of Harrington's writings since 1771, or of Oceana, his best-known work, since 1924. This is a modernised edition, (...) and includes all of his prose works on political subjects. The critical introduction attempts to revalue the evidence concerning Harrington's life and writings, to locate them in the context of Civil War, Commonwealth and Puritan thinking and to trace the development of Harringtonian and neo-Harringtonian ideology during subsequent generations. (shrink)
James Beattie was appointed professor of moral philosophy and logic at Marischal College, Aberdeen, Scotland at the age of twenty-five. Though more fond of poetry than philosophy, he became part of the Scottish 'Common Sense' school of philosophy that included Thomas Reid and George Campbell. In 1770 Beattie published the work for which he is best known, An Essay on Truth, an abrasive attack on 'modern scepticism' in general, and on David Hume in particular, subsequently and despite Beattie's attack, (...) Scotland's most famous philosopher. The Essay was a great success, earning its author an honorary degree from Oxford and an audience with George III. Samuel Johnson declared in 1772 that 'We all love Beattie'. Hume, on the other hand, described the Essay as 'a horrible large lie in octavo', and dismissed its author as a 'bigotted silly Fellow'. Although Beattie is no match for Hume as a philosopher, the success of the Essay suggests that, unlike Hume, Beattie voices the characteristic assumptions, and anxieties, of his age. The first part of this selection—the first ever made from Beattie's prose writings—includes several key chapters from the Essay on Truth, along with extracts from all of Beattie's other works on moral philosophy. The topics treated include memory, the existence of God, the nature of virtue, and slavery. The second part of the selection is devoted to Beattie's contributions to literary criticism and aesthetics. Beattie's studies of poetry, music, taste, and the sublime are vital to the understanding of the literary culture out of which developed the early Romanticism of Wordsworth and Coleridge. (shrink)
William James is notorious for the large number of inconsistencies and at least apparent contradictions in his writings. Many readers conclude that he should be appreciated more for his profound but erratic insights than for any coherent philosophical perspective. Ellen Kappy Suckiel disagrees. She argues that James is far more careful and systematic than many readers realize. Her work on James is guided by the attempt to lay bare his coherent philosophical vision and the consistent philosophical methodology (...) underlying it. As a result of this approach, Suckiel's work on James is both sympathetic to his philosophical insights and carefully argued. In her first book, The Pragmatic Philosophy of William James (1982), Suckiel applies this approach to James's philosophy as a whole. The result is a work of remarkable clarity and insight that serves as a wonderful introduction to James's thought. In her more recent book, Suckiel applies this approach specifically to James's philosophy of religion, with similar felicitous results. Heaven's... (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Central to both James’s earlier psychology and his later philosophical views was a recurring distinction between percepts and concepts. The distinction evolved and remained fundamental to his thinking throughout his career as he sought to come to grips with its fundamental nature and significance. In this chapter, I focus initially on James’s early attempt to articulate the distinction in his 1885 article “The Function of Cognition.” This will highlight a key problem to which James continued to (...) return throughout his later philosophical work on the nature of our cognition, including in his famous “radical empiricist” metaphysics of “pure experience” around the turn of the century. We shall find that James grappled insightfully but ambivalently with the perceptual and conceptual dimensions of the “knowledge relation” or the “cognitive relation,” as he called it—or what, following Franz Brentano, philosophers would later call our object-directed thought or intentionality more generally. Some philosophers have once again returned to James’s work for crucial insights on this pivotal topic, while others continue to find certain aspects of his account to be problematic. What is beyond dispute is that James’s inquiries in this domain were both innovative and of lasting significance. (shrink)
In 1896 William James published an essay entitled The Will to Believe, in which he defended the legitimacy of religious faith against the attacks of such champions of scientific method as W.K. Clifford and Thomas Huxley. James's work quickly became one of the most important writings in the philosophy of religious belief. James Wernham analyses James's arguments, discusses his relation to Pascal and Renouvier, and considers the interpretations, and misinterpretations, of James's major critics. Wernham shows (...) convincingly that James was unaware of many destructive ambiguitities in his own doctrines and arguments, although clear and consistent in his view that our obligation to believe in theism is not a moral but a prudential obligation -- a foolish-not-to-believe doctrine, rather than a not-immoral-to-believe one. Wernham also shows that the doctrine is best read as affirming the wisdom of gambling that God exists, a notion which James failed to distinguish from believing and which, among other things, he explicitly identified with faith. James's pragmatism, a theory concerning the meaning of truth, is shown to be quite distinct from the doctrine of The Will to Believe. In concentrating on a careful analysis of this doctrine of the will-to-believe, Wernham not only makes a major contribution to understanding James's philosophy, but also clarifies issues in the philosophy of religion and in the analysis of belief and faith. (shrink)
Contributions in modern theoretical physics and chemistry on the behavior of nonlinear systems, exemplified by Ilya Prigogine's work on the thermodynamics of open systems, attract growing attention in economics. Our purpose here is to relate the new orientation in the natural sciences to a particular nonorthodox strand of thought within economics. All that is needed for this purpose is some appreciation of the general thrust of the enterprise, which involves a shift of perspective from the determinism of conventional physics to (...) the nonteleological open-endedness, creative, and nondetermined nature of evolutionary processes. (shrink)
It is testimony to both the incompleteness and suggestiveness of James's philosophy that commentators have argued that the "true" James is consummated in, say, Dewey, or in phenomenology, or Whitehead. Although Ford obviously thinks James's philosophy has a complete identity in its own right, he argues for the Whiteheadian interpretation. He asserts not only that this is the correct interpretation of James, but the correct philosophy simpliciter. The central theses in this argument are that James (...) is both a process philosopher and a panpsychist. (shrink)
When characterizing the content of a subject’s perceptual experience, does their seeing an object entail that their visual experience represents it as being a certain way? If it does, are they thereby in a position to have perceptually-based thoughts about it? On one hand, representationalists are under pressure to answer these questions in the affirmative. On the other hand, it seems they cannot. This paper presents a puzzle to illustrate this tension within orthodox representationalism. We identify several interesting morals which (...) may be drawn in response, each of which teaches us something interesting and important about perceptual experience and its interface with cognition and related phenomena. (shrink)
Still-vital lectures on teaching deal with psychology and the teaching art, the stream of consciousness, the child as a behaving organism, education and behavior, native and acquired reactions, habit, association of ideas, attention, memory, acquisition of ideas, perception, will, and more. The three addresses to students are "The Gospel of Relaxation," "On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings," and "What Makes a Life Significant?" Preface. 2 black-and-white illustrations.
Liberalism has often been viewed as a continuing dialogue about the relative priorities between liberty and equality. When the version of equality under discussion requires equalization of outcomes, it is easy to see how the two ideals might conflict. But when the version of equality requires only equalization of opportunities, the conflict has been treated as greatly muted since the principle of equality seems so meager in its implications. However, when one looks carefully at various versions of equal opportunity and (...) various versions of liberty, the conflict between them is, in fact, both dramatic and inescapable. Each version of the conflict poses hard choices which defy any systematic pattern granting priority to one of these basic values over the other. In this essay, I will flesh out and argue for this picture of fundamental conflict, and then turn to some more general issues about the kinds of answers we should expect to the basic questions of liberal theory. (shrink)
Religion has been a constant throughout human history. Evidence of it dates from the earliest times. Religious practice is also universal, appearing in every region of the globe. To judge from recorded history and contemporary accounts, religious intolerance is equally widespread. Yet all the major faiths proclaim the golden rule, namely, to “love your neighbour as yourself.” When Jesus was asked by a lawyer, “Who is my neighbour?” he replied with the story of the good Samaritan—the man who bound up (...) the wounds and looked after the Israelite who was neither his co-religionist nor a member of his race. Jesus’ example has been rarely followed. What is it in religion—and not just in the Christian religion—that leads its members to limit their conception of their neighbour? How is it that, in preaching the universal brotherhood of mankind, religions so often practice the opposite? In my paper, I suggest some answers by focusing on the notions of faith, ethics and finitude. (shrink)
I take it as my assignment to criticize the Gauthier enterprise. At the outset, however, I should express my general agreement with David Gauthier's normative vision of a liberal social order, including the place that individual principles of morality hold in such an order. Whether the enterprise is, ultimately, judged to have succeeded or to have failed depends on the standards applied. Considered as a coherent grounding of such a social order in the rational choice behavior of persons, the enterprise (...) fails. Considered as an extended argument implying that persons should adopt the moral stance embodied in the Gauthier structure, the enterprise is, I dunk, largely successful. Considered as a set of empirically falsifiable propositions suggesting that persons do, indeed, choose as the Gauthier precepts dictate, the enterprise offers Humean hope rather than Hobbesian despair. (shrink)
During the last forty years, the Aboriginal peoples of the Americas, of the British Commonwealth, and of other countries colonized by Europeans over the last five hundred years have demanded that their forms of property and government be recognized in international law and in the constitutional law of their countries. This broad movement of 250 million Aboriginal people has involved court cases, parliamentary politics, constitutional amendments, the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, the development of an international law of (...) Aboriginal peoples, and countless nonviolent and violent actions in defense of Aboriginal systems of property and cultures. The Aboriginal peoples of New Zealand, Canada, and the United States have been at the forefront of the movement, and it is in these countries that the greatest legal recognition has been achieved. (shrink)